Prairie Notes

Gardens of France: Seaside Plants of St. Malo

St. Malo is known as the corsair city; a place of pirates and lighthouses, rocky islands and medieval walls. Besides great history (and excellent pastry!), a botany-minded visitor in St. Malo can enjoy sightings of lichen, ferns, algae, and more. We did not visit one of the “gardens of France” in a traditional sense, but […]

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Gardens of France: Chateau de Chenonceau

Refined, elegant, and dare I say…lady-like? The castle and gardens of Chenonceau are truly a must-see in the Loire Valley. It is known as the ladies castle because of its many famous female inhabitants, as well as the fact that its construction and upkeep was overseen by women. With formal gardens surrounding it on two […]

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Plant Profile: Ozark Witchhazel

This time of year we are looking for any hint of spring.  Often we can find tips of green from bulbs or swelling buds of the silver maple. On other trees, such as birch, hazelhut, alder and later willows, you can see catkins dangling from their branches.  One of the first harbingers of spring here at […]

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Choosing Plants for Birds: Be Beak Specific

Bird enthusiasts often flock to Dyck Arboretum to observe birds in our prairie, woodlands, and pond. In fact, Dyck Arboretum has been a data collection site for the Halstead-Newton Christmas Bird Count for 20+ years. Many FloraKansas patrons ask about how to attract more birds to their own landscapes, and the answer is simple: provide […]

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Winter Food for Birds

This winter has been one of the harshest Kansas has had in quite some time. Plants and animals have been tested with extreme cold, frozen soils and snow.  It’s incredible to imagine that anything can endure these conditions. Over the past few weeks, I have watched the birds find food where they can.  They are relentless in […]

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